Using the Internet has become a great resource to job seekers but it also comes with its own set of pitfalls – especially in regards to social networking. It’s easy to think that you’re just venting to friends and family until you find out later it’s costing you a job.
#1 Social Networking Mistake
You need to be aware that information that is put out on the Internet, in general, can potentially be seen by anyone. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking just because it’s social media that it’s casual. Be protective of your social profiles, especially if you’re the type of person who shares personal information on Twitter or Facebook—and even more so if you complain about your boss, make negative or derogatory statements, or post anything that you wouldn’t want brought up during a job interview.
Recruiters will do their research, they will Google you, look you up on the Internet and LinkedIn, and they will check out anything that pops up in their searching. Just because you’re not sharing it on LinkedIn does not mean that they can’t find it either. Questioning what they can find out about you and what you can do if you’ve goofed up?
Complete a Google search on your name. This will tell you what the most popular links are about you out there on the Internet. If you have digital dirt, start right now getting it cleaned up.
Make your personal social networking profile settings private. Seriously private. Set it so that only your accepted friends—and no one else—can see what you’ve posted on Facebook.
Be overprotective. Don’t post things on social media you wouldn’t want brought up in an interview. Even if it’s on your Facebook page and it’s set to private. You never know who knows someone, who knows someone …You have to be careful and protect yourself.
Ensure no one else by your same name has crazy horrible things out there that are popping up in search results.
Use your middle initial on your resume and in any job search-related documents. By using your middle initial you are avoiding any confusion between yourself and someone with some potentially damaging information on the web.
When actively job searching think beyond your resume and employment applications. With technology developing and changing on a daily basis, you have to be diligent, intentional, and proactive. Conduct research on yourself to make sure there isn’t any digital dirt about you out there on the Internet—and stop making simple social networking mistakes (like oversharing) that can cost you the job.
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